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  CSPAN    U.S. Senate    News/Business.  

    October 4, 2012
    5:00 - 8:00pm EDT  

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like the american legion, to express to the individuals how we can help them when they transition. .. the american legion has a track record since 1919 of helping those individuals. the va and dod should recognize that and allow us to help at the level we can help in that comes to collaboration and acceptance of what we can do by sharing the information of those trances think veterans.
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with it program it's a great approach. we are part of improving it and in fact i'm going to be going to nora volkow on friday to promote our claims act and we are going to show the tap program in our folks so we as an organization are part of the process to improve the program so we are grateful that they want to look to improve it and recognize that it needs to be improved. just let the american legion be a big part of that. >> thank you very much for that comment. i hope i speak are the rest of my colleagues here and anything we can do to help make sure you you're the table especially with redevelopment at that tap program and you are saying information you think is valuable you have to let us know because we think what i have always heard as the program originally was just problematic. i'm trying to be polite here but having you involved this critical and the veterans being the test pilot is critical to make sure this works for veterans not just the administrators to process it for the veterans who need that
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information so i thank you for that. if i could ask one quick question and i will cease at that point. i know we talked a little bit about women's veterans and what is happening. you know i know it's a critical issue and what we are doing and it's more of almost a wrap around service in a lot of ways from everything from not only the health care necessary but also childcare and other things. can you tell me one or two or three top items that women veterans are saying to you that i wish we could do you know who fell fill in the blank. can you do that from a? >> thank you. in 2010 the american legion today women's veterans survey. this is the first national veterans surveys done since 1905 when fda conducted a survey. a lot of things have changed since 1985. we held the survey for 30 days for about 30 days and 3012 women
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responded. we asked them six or seven questions measuring 10 attributes and what these women told us is that they want quality health care, affordable medications and fair and equitable compensation just like their male counterparts. women want to be able to walk into the va health care system and receive the gender specific health care that we deserved. recently, i was in in the hospital in february. i was in the emergency room for 15 hours because they didn't have the room for women's veterans. 15 hours because they needed to find a room for me. women veterans deserve to go into the va health care center into the hospital and get treatment as quickly and as efficiently as our male counterparts. what women want is gender specific differences that, we want medical professionals to understand that women need particular things. mammography is one of them.
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all of the mammograms are outsourced so we go out on a fee basis to get those, to get a mammogram but it takes a long time to receive the results. what we want to va to understand is why we have gender specific differences we still deserve the same timeliness that they give too in some ways our male counterparts. what we we are asking for is not a separate facility to walk into. we want to go into the va health care system, system that provided for veterans and that understands veterans to include female veterans. may be a separate waiting room especially for women veterans who suffer with ptsd specifically due to military specific trauma. when the law was reduced, the standards reduced for men with ptsd they left out military sexual trauma. they fail to reduce the standards and women largely
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impart women, providing the burden of proof for women grouping claims for the military. we want to be included in that for ptsd. so what they told us is that we want fair treatment. we want the va to understand that women are large part of our military and when we come home we want to be cared for just like our male veterans. >> very good, thank you very much. [applause] [applause] >> senator boatman. >> thank you mr. chairman. i really don't have anymore questions. i appreciate your comments and especially coming from somebody that can relay their personal experiences very important and i appreciate you sharing your particular ordeal and that is certainly something. i know that the committee on both sides are going to be working hard to try and remedy
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that there is simply no excuse for that so thank you commander for being here and we just appreciate your service and appreciate everyone service so much, all that you all represent and again, we look or to working with you in the next congress and again just appreciate all of your efforts. we thank you and just let me say that the american legion is always here. we want to work with you to do the best we can for the veterans of this nation. >> i would ask unanimous consent that all members would have five legislative days to revise or extend their remarks including the extraneous materials for today's hearing. without objection, so ordered and let me finish commander again by saying thank you so much for being here and being willing to spend your time helping us understand more what's the american legion's perspective is and i can clearly say that without your help the
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job would be a whole lot harder so i look forward to working hand-in-hand with you as we move down the road together and try and solve the issues that are there. we look forward to having another bso roundtable early in the next legislative session which is right around the corner. we know we have an election in just a few weeks and a lame-duck session and then we will be returning for the 113th congress so i appreciate you being here and i appreciate everybody being here for your session in washington and with that, this hearing is adjourned. [applause] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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>> we take you live now to georgetown university where we are waiting for discussion to get underway on the future of american democracy. while we wait for this event, here are some comments from first-time voters reacting to last night's presidential debate. the this from "washington journal." [inaudible conversations] >> host: first-time voters only, henry and greensboro north carolina, henry tell us your story. why are you a first-time voter quest. >> caller: i have always felt politics was politics but now when you say the 47%, what night you care about everybody in the next night 47%. i don't like a flip-flopper and to me it just sounds like a flip-flopper. and i don't understand.
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he wants to put all this to the states like florida. they don't have state taxes, so i believe revenue, you have to have revenue to sustain things that you have. i am not going to raise revenue. he said i'm not going to raise any revenue. how would you sustain your business? i don't understand why everybody else doesn't see this. you have to have revenue. if he is -- to say i'm not going to raise your taxes he is talking to the people. i don't mind paying my fair share but a lot of people are not paying their fair share. they don't realize exactly what he is saying. he doesn't care. he doesn't care about -- so he has to attack somebody. is going to be the same old thing. when republicans get in the same
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old thing. >> host: henry how long have you been registered to vote and not voted in a presidential election? >> caller: the last was when i was 21 but now i am really looking at it and i have a child now and it's more my responsibility to look at my child's future and when i listen to the debate, here president obama saying hey about education, i don't understand. i don't understand what everybody else is supposed to do because i am hear him saying what he is trying to do but i hear the under candidate just saying whatever. he is not really saying anything. he won't even give us his tax information. why would i trust him? that is a simple thing to do. we should have exactly what he
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has done over 20 years. i don't feel comfortable with what is going on. >> we take you back live now to the event. >> our director of the medications will be moderating so give you a little bit of background on the offense and the millennial values symposium which is a part. we are spending a couple of days here on in depth discussions about the values and the politics of the millennial generation. this morning some of you may know we released a national poll a new national survey of 18 to 24-year-olds and their views on the election and their views on values and their views on american democracy. we are having a series of events like this and we are also engaged in on line conversations around these issues. we had her first symposium in april and since then we have had a couple of essay and blog contest to try to broaden input
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from millennials concerned about american politics and the american future. we have selected 15 millennial values fellows to be with us for these conversations here from all over the country who have proposed ideas about how to improve and fix american democracy as part of that competition and two of them mohammad and rachel are here with us on stage tonight to provide some commentary and some ideas of their own. so i would like to thank you all again for coming and i would like to thank the ford foundation his generous support has made our time here this afternoon possible and with that i will i will turn it over to my colleague, erin taylor. >> thanks, tom. welcome everybody. as tom said my name is erin taylor and i am the director of communications here at the berkeley center. and i am very pleased to welcome mayor alex morse and svante myrick as well as the to millennial -- mohammad usman and
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rachel stanley. i will tell you a bit about all of our participants and asked them a couple of questions but i'm really hoping that the bulk of the evening can be questions from the audience so get your questions ready. and for those who still have their smartphones out, we are on twitter using the hashtag millennial mayors tonight so join the conversation as well. mayor myrick is the mayor of new york, the city's youngest mayor and the first mayor of color and at the age of 24, just last january, he was sworn in after winning a sweeping a town -- 18 out of 18 districts and winning a four-way mayoral race. before being appointed he was on the city -- the common counsel representing this witty woody's 4th ward. he is a graduate of cornell university where he majored in
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communications and he was quite active while he was there tutoring underserved students at ithaca and serving as a board member of the racing education attainment challenge organization. immediately to my right is alex morse who is the mayor of holyoke massachusetts. he is also the city's youngest mayor. and he is the second youngest mayor in state history. is that correct? yeah, so he graduated from brown university with a degree in urban studies and during his time at brown he worked as a youth career counselor. he was also on the governors lgbt commission and the main focus of his administration at the moment are early childhood literacy, building an economy focused around art, innovation and technology, and supporting local and community policing initiatives.
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as the students we are glad to have here as well, rachel stanley is a junior at elon college majoring in international studies with all sorts of minors, political science, and she has worked with refugees and her region. she is the president of halal on her campus and the millennial values fellow so we are pleased that she is back. last but not least, mohammad usman is a senior at depauw university majoring in urban policy and conflict studies with a minor in religious studies. he was a part of the national bioethics bowl, the winning team in the last year so congratulations on that. and before attending depauw was a special assistant in advocate for acts of civil legal justice at the university of new york
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school of law. so welcome to all of them. i would like to hear from all of you, and last night when we heard governor romney talk about states as the laboratory of democracy so while that may have been a republican democrat comment it got me thinking about our mayor and the work that they do in their communities and i'm going to hand the floor over to them. if you could both talk a little bit about how you see the future of american politics. >> thank you for having us first of all and thanks to all of you for coming to this event. i do believe that our politics is local and as mayor i've had the opportunity to witness decision-making on a local level that has implications for the state and federal government. i will just briefly talk about my background and how i first got into the position as mayor. holyoke is a small city of about 40,000 people outside of
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springfield in the western part of massachusetts. i was born and raised there and went to the city's public schools became the first to my family to go on to college and when i got to brown studied urban studies there and like a lot of folks my age i chose to come back to my hometown and give back to the city that i thought had given me the opportunities that i had. holyoke has a very rich -- and also the first city to make paper so we are nicknamed the paper city. like a lot of cities in the northeast we were once a moving industrial city but at the same time folks came into holyoke and a lot of the factories close down, move south are moved overseas so we know have an 11% unemployment rate which is higher than the state national average and about 50% of our population is latino, puerto rican and a diversity as well. so i got elected last november. there were four of us running in the election.
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it was a nonpartisan race on the local level so the top two vote getters went against each other in november. i won with 53% of the vote and i became mayor in january at the age of 22. and then i turned 23 and i will be 24 and january so i'm quickly getting up there. [laughter] it is a very stressful job at all so very very rewarding. there is nothing more special than being a mayor and a town or city that you're born and where your family still lives in your friends are there in the schools that you want who are still there and your teachers or if still teaching in the public schools. given my age are current our current school superintendent for example is my principal of the high school so it's been a really reporting experience and we are focused on four different issues in particular and that is education. we have a 53% graduation rate over four years so a lot of large urban centers around the country we do have challenges around education and our graduation rate.
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economic development like i said trying to convert from an industrial city a papermaking city into an economy around art innovation and technology. this november we will open a 170 million-dollar high-performance community center sponsored by the university of massachusetts. that it's been a catalyst for economic development in the city and a lot of folks ask why would harvard and m.i.t. play something in holyoke one of the poorest cities in the state into arcelus to their campuses? the answers they have it cheap as red opal energy in new england. to really focus on our downtown arts and innovation district. public safety obviously. my job as mayor is a cheap marketing officer in creating jobs and to do that we need to convince people that downtown is a safe place to invest and spend time with your family and friends so we have really been an advocate of community policing strategies strategies that improve the relationship between our police officers and our residents.
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also really making sure we evoke a sense of -- the one thing that has been the biggest challenge to holyoke is our perception and our image so i ran a campaign based on beginning to tell a new story about the city of holyoke that we are more than a city of problems and challenges for the city of opportunity and possibilities. to give you the sense of importance of young people and why my election made a big statement for a city we have a 15 member city council and the 10 member school committee of strong mayors and former government. i ran against a 68-year-old incumbent mayor who had only been mayor for a couple of years. he was an aide to her congressman and it was not personal against incumbent but a choice between maintaining and supporting the status quo are moving in a different direction so are the city of holyoke a postindustrial city to elected 22-year-old openly young person to the mayor's office a thing since a strong statement about
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what our city wanted in what direction we want to move into. i just want to thank you all again for being here and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you. >> thank you so much and thanks for being here. you actually study here or is it just for witchcraft? [laughter] it really is an absolute pleasure to be here. you know, the last time i was in wishing to d.c. i had a meeting with the new york city -- the new york senator chuck schumer, charles schumer and i don't know if you guys know that anyone from new york you probably know the safest place to be is between chuck schumer and a camera. he walks into the room and looks around and scans right over me. i say hi i am the mayor of
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ithaca. he says, i don't understand. i said i am svante and i was elected. he said how? how to something like that happen? i think that is actually the question i get the most often is sort of like is it like a raffle? [laughter] and it's not. you know you really, what people want to know is what would convince you to run for mayor? what would convince use to put yourself out there and coming from where i came from, my story, becoming elected mayor is not the least likely part of my own story. i was born and raised in the beginning part of my life into poverty and homelessness. my mom raised four of us children and under some pretty tough conditions. she was able to get all four of
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us had and i made it to cornell university. you really believe in that american dream that anybody who works hard can accomplish great things. so with that dilution in mind, when i was a junior, i was working with young people, tutoring and i was in advocacy. i literally had to run and the reason i was late today i got dropped off in the wrong part of town so i got it cab here quick. it was nine blocks away so i had to run here. talking about youth and politics, that is one advantage of being young in politics but i'm still a little winded. you know, you go to the city council meetings and the county legislature meetings and your asking people to make the decision that you want them to make and after a while you
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think, why don't i get to make the decisions? so i ran for city council in my junior year when i was 20 years old and i won. four years later, i decided that instead of running for re-election i would like to be the mayor so i ran and i won. laboratories of democracy i truly think the city is where ideas can be put into action and we can actually see things that will make a difference. one of the ideas that i championed at my second year in 2009 back when i was a young man, was a smoking ban. we banned smoking in public parks outdoors in the outdoor dining spaces and the comment which is sort of an outdoor pedestrian park and at the time it was very controversial and the time it was very radical. the following years mayor bloomberg at did the same thing
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in new york city so he is welcome for that. i sent him a note and i said any other ideas you want we can talk. but it honestly is because you can do these things on a city level because you can actually reach. not rhetorically, you don't have to speak over them because you can only keep their attention for this long. what is more, you cannot score political points by meeting people and going home to your home district which often happens here in the city. you can't just blast the other side and go home and you can't do that because the person that you are yelling at you have to see later that night. [inaudible] you have to see him in the coffee shop and you have to see
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your neighbors and they say i know that person. why are you fighting instead of solving our problems? the city is held to a higher standard. you have to get the work done because there is no base to retreat to. if our cities to be successful and our entire government and democracy is going to be successful it has to be because more young people get involved and i'm saying that not just because i'm a young people but because i have seen through my work on the city council and especially now as mayor, the young people bring something to our system that we desperately need. in fact i'm convinced the first its energy. if you have ever tried to make a change it takes an inordinate amount of energy and even beyond what you even expected. 14, 15, 16 hour days. things that should've taken a month take a year and if you don't have the energy to see these things through you will never make it and young people have more energy than they know what to do with.
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i know it doesn't feel like it sometimes on the saturday morning. that is because you didn't go to bed until 5:00 a.m.. at my age are ready if i didn't get to bed until 5:00 a.m. i would not make it until monday. the second thing is creativity. honest to goodness, this that have you ever seen a 6-year-old playing and out of nowhere they say i'm a dinosaur. they believe it and not moment. in their minds so radically changes the status quo. the status quo is they have no attachment to the status quo. alternate worlds and all chart possibilities feel as real to them and that is something we lose and as we get older we began to -- my staff knows there are two things they're not allowed to say to me. they can't say we have always done it this way and everyone else does it this way.
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those things mean literally nothing to me because i have no attachment to the way we have always done things. i'm looking for the best way to do it. that sort of creativity and i will give an example. couple of years ago i sold my car because i am a, in enisa coba khalid earth conscious. outside of there you call it a hippie i believe. it's an unusual place i will tell you that. just last week we were named the number one college in america. and so when i was elected mayor is right there in front of city hall which is in the heart of our downtown. i said what are we going to do with this? a tree that we had cut down, we hollowed out the tree and slice it into chunks and put flowers in and created the smallest park in the city of ithaca.
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instead of reserve for mayor we had a sign that said reserve for mayor and friends. it automatically changed instantly the way people thought about how much we use for cars. change changes possible on a small budget and that change the way people protested my decisions. i have already already had a couple of release with the science. the sign says friends right there. [laughter] but that kind of creativity, and the last thing. the first is energy and the second is creativity and the last is authority. and unambiguous sense of what is right in what is wrong and what is fair. it's not sure if everybody but for a lot of us the older we get get -- that same 6-year-old that was a dinosaur, did you ever try to take a lollipop away from a 6-year-old? why would you do that?
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if you did hypothetically what would they say? yeah, they would say it's not fair. when a 6-year-old says it's not fair, what do we say? life is not fair. .. when -- an environment you feel it and you feel that it's unfair. you also have the skills.
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you have the communication skills. you have the organizing skill, so you the dedication, the organization that it takes to actually make a difference. and i think if we're going see our way out of the largest economy of challenge of our economy -- how do we take care of sick. and the poor? and how do we stop climate change? for us, west to the hypothetical. it's not academic. and the consequences are not insignificant to us because what happens fifty years from now we'll be affected. we'll still -- i plan to be around still, fifty around. i plan to be in office, i hope. i'll be in my 13th term. we have to take that energy and that creativity and that authority and inject it in to our government. at the moment, government is being run by grown-ups over all
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the world. are too often not getting the job done. bringing in the here just with all of you. not in office, i want to talk a little bit more about the voter, especially with the results of the survey that was released this morning by the berkeley center. while we have a lot of energy creativity, news media access is arguably easier than over to get ahold of 50% are registered to vote. more are registered but 50 percent are certain. what's going on with that? someone mentioneddier that whether we are voting or not, we are being represented allegedly, there are anemia office that are
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making decisions on our part, right now i'm about to turn 22 and i wasn't 18 in the last presidential election, so, like, many younger people who are in office now were not voted for by us. we were at the age to be able to follow politics, we were not able to vote. some in 2010, definitely not in 2008. that's interesting. but either way, whether you are or not able to vote, your decisions are being made about, about your community, locally, nationally, so that's creates an interesting situation. we use the voting booth as a tool to bring common people in to democracy. that's our way to participate. we can go in to the bathroom -- booth during that tuesday during the workday and check our boxes. that's our contribution.
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that's how we show what we want. we pick between a few people. and lot of people do vote. there's a lot of participation. there are a lot of people that don't vote. there are a lot of my lynn -- maybe they think their vote doesn't count, maybe they don't like the candidates, maybe they think is voting is too much of a hassle. but they are not voting but they are being affected by what comets out of the election. there are a lot of people that aren't voting for different reasons. immigrants, there's huge demographic places taking places. you're in the country, whether you have documents or not. and the result of the election effect. you you're not having a say necessarily in the results. convicted felons, they are still citizens and they won't be voted anymore and arguably often poor
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and often people of color are often incredibly baictded by the result of election and the people who hold office. they get no say in the results of the elections. arguably, in some stay, not pennsylvania in november, those without id won't be also to have a say in this part of our democracy. again, often elderly, often people of color, they may not be able to participate in this one highlighted way to participate in democracy. and i studied political science, i'm voting and i'm registered my friends. i believe in election. but i also have several trends who i cannot convince to get out in november. they are not going to. but that doesn't mean they have no interest. not every person who isn't voting is totally interested in everything. they still have needs and
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desires and they live in a community. no matter how they participate in it. i think there's a gap, i think there's a huge gap, especially for between elections and our lives in the democracy. there's a big gap and i would gather that most of us are fairly political engaged i think it's easy to write off if you don't participate in elections it's apathetic and lazy. but they're in the democracy with us, i think while we may still be pressuring them to rebelling register to vote, i think we need think about other ways other avenues in the democracy elections are really important and i believe that elected officials make a huge difference. there's also a lot more doing on. and coming to this symposium, i was looking at what other me less than illinoiss were doing. and i read about this other
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conference taking place called me less than yell -- they pitched ideas to get their community more civically engaged. they are increasing volunteer programs in rally, or teaching primary school opportunities how to better ingauge with the community. that's one example of what some my less than yells are doing elsewhere. i think it's important to not forget that everyone here in the country with or without paper, with or without a job, or with or without an id. we're living here together. we are neighbors, we shop at the
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store together. we often go to school together. i think especially for those politically engaged it's important to think about how to incorporate everyone. i think hearing from as many people as possible whether or not they are citizens is really huge. we all want to improve our community. i don't want to improve my own place to the detriment of others. i think we have to figure out if, you know, if so many me lynn yells are disillusioned now. how cells they get involved? i don't think just because there's a since of disillusionment with elections or one part in politics, that means with a total withdrawal from any participation and community. i think that's an interesting challenge. something that we can work on. i'm sure the two of you see this especially with working with education and dropout rates and voting is very important. and it's not everything for a lot of people, i don't think it's the right avenue for them
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right now. there's a lot of outreach that can be done. >> quick thing for one second. i'm sorry. you made such a great point about how, you know, a lot of people don't vote because they think one vote every four years, what does do in statistically speaking you're not going lose by one vote. that's true, when you vote regularly, you make it in to the minds of people who are thinking about running for office. even before they get elected. so they become accountable to you on the national level, it's a little bit different. the local level the way you get electedded you print out you print out a list of registers voters. how many tiles you voted, and which elections all right. from that you can deduce. it has your age and gender, and where you live. from that you can software that can deduce also, we had in our
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data a column that showed whether they were cat owners. based on the voter history and the demographic. it's amazing. what you do is take that list and go out on the street. if you're in a hurry you go to the people what we call likely voters. part-time that vote all the time. if you are trying to be thorough you can go to all register voters. if you are being extremely thorough you knock on every door. most are not. you knock on the doors people for who are voters. they can hold your attention for an hour. tell you what they need to be fixed, those schools, the people who aren't on the list, are literally -- their doors never get knocked on. they never get the hour with the candidates. they never find out what is important to the people. the list of people you spoke about, immigrants, poor, people
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of color, you could end up in a lot of cities. it's no different. you could end up walking past entire politics of people. they become invisible as candidate and invisible to the government and you wonder why some neighborhoods don't get the same level much service. it's not just because they didn't vote. it's because they weren't registered to vote. they never entered the consciousness of the government. >> some elections are won by one vote. i won by one vote last september. there was four of us running. i got 2,223 and the other one got 2,222 votes. they came up to me and told me were the one vote. we printed t-shirt that said i was the one vote. we sold them for $10. a new folks voted.
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everybody was coming up. my partner, i wasn't going vote. they forced me to the polls and didn't know who i was going to vote. that's why i won. everybody wants a t-shirt. it gave us the momentum over the next seven weeks to have one and beat incumbent mayor by one vote. i think it play in to our story of civic engagement and election focused of getting new people involved particularly one people and the will see no community. folks say he will only win if young people come out to vote. because he can speak spanish. but again, i won the election because we got average white middle class folks in the community to get out and vote for me. that's a realistic look at. we spend lot of time trying to expand the voter pool we have to focus on the voters who we know will get out on election day to vote. >> yeah. exactly. there's a neighborhood in ithaca
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called college town. it's called that because 97% students. and college students everywhere. everybody thought the turnup was up there i was going to walk away with the election. 35 people voted out of 3,000. and we did. we did more. we targeted them more than any other race in recent history. go figure. >> okay. great conversation already. we need to add one more voice to it. >> yeah. she opened up toughs a tough act to follow. i want to thank the mayors of berkeley center for giving me the opportunity to be here. sort of a funny story, i would say. people are going to begin that way. we sent an e-mail saying there's going to be series of events, you know, in subsequent e-mail saying you actually have the opportunity to talk at one of the events which one can you talk to? responded to this one saying i
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want to be with the mayor. i was always following them. it was a great opportunity. i'm serious about it. [laughter] and then i got today last night at dinner they're like c-span is going to be there. wow, this is getting better. [laughter] so my immediate reaction is like, mom, check it out. i'm going to be on c-span. my mom is watching, right, which is probably the only person watching. >> my mom is. >> [laughter] there you go. it begins at some corner. i think the one most important themes to me struck these remarks that were made was that, you know, opportunity within our democracy is sort of what makes a democracy or the character of democracy or character of regime and we often forget in the united states the way we divide politics the we we divide govern innocences at different layer.
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we have levels we are fed rated as republicans. to which the local has been arguably in many ways the most responsibility. this is a fact that has dawned on me in numerous systems. i'm from new york city a community you know a lot of doors don't get knocked upon app community where the walls have been roads have been carved in certain ways by policy that were made decades prior that will decades to the present and many years in the future will create the lines in the sand of what representation you have. what access you have. to me these issues are pressing. in a similar way, i have been benefited enormously from my own community where i was raised. my family, my environment and to me, what the value of sort of the local is or the value of the city, i'm in a patient to urban environment. i love it. that's why i'm studying. it is a basket of opportunity.
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i went public schools my whole life and, you know, it was from like the teacher who said, you might like doing this and spend time after school and introduce me to an excellent opportunity or someone that stayed after school with me that went through different topics they didn't understand or from my debate coach in high school, you know, who not get paid but spend an extra six hours, you know, per week to coaching us. these are all thicks i found made the character of my life. nay all happened not by by way of large institution. not way of something far and distance. there was any local experience. this is what i found in sort of this homely city. you often here the characterization of cities or urban environments as sorts of get lost there's nothing impersonal. this is not has been my experience. this is what i think the local represents. in returning to what i find to be the theme is that cities and
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local politics and local institutions are really sit on the greatst amount of opportunity. human potential is the closest to the greatest amount of human potential. you can access that. you can touch that, you can shape the lives of so many people in particular young people because, you know, respective views we hold about young people respective about the reality with respect that to scare their voting and array of different fact. the reality is you cannot escape this. they are new e lek trait. they will be the older demographic. they will be the adult and the grown-ups. it's a marvel to me. that, you know, this isn't dawned upon in all levels of politics. and for me, i think that opportunity sort of exists at the local level. and i, you know, it brings a great deal of pride to me that to be sitting on the stage with folks who sort of really have done you know what i could aspire to and have great passion for. and sort of a mild ante-dote to
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say that chuck schiew her one of the youngest people there. the fact that he forget that. he didn't forget it. he let me know right away. >> he said why how would are you? i said 24, that's not so tough. i was 23. just out of harvard law school. whatever. [laughter] >> at my rate. >> he lost me at harvard. >> am i right? >> yeah. you didn't get in either? [laughter] >> as i was saying, you know, he could certainly appreciate the similar upbringing in that respect. but this is -- i harkin back to the same point. i think that local politics urban politics at the city to me are the center of democracy. truly a great amount of opportunity available there and, you know, i would love to hear other people's comments on that. that's the importance of governance. >> thank you. >> moderator: i guess i'll
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pose one question to you and i can tell we have people ready to ask questions already. but i was, you know, one of the things that you often hear me less -- social media. we heard earlier today one of the experts at the social media sites are the village squares for civil discourse. i was curious to hear from both of you how yourself using social media and technology, you know, campaigning not also to relate in contact with constituents? >> yeah. i think to some extent, in my opinion, sometimes it's a -- if i don't post something on facebook it's as if it doesn't happen. it's critically important that we space announcements out. days i feel like we five or ten then things to put out there. you don't want to put two things within a half hour. what is going to the get the
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most like. i think the president and mirvel michelle obama got almost 1,000 likes. i'm trying to hit the record. buffets bob, you know, i wouldn't have won with just doing social media. we won the election because we paired new forms of communication with voters and more traditional forms which is door knocking. for folks to meet me face to face and have a conversation with the living room or the cichen about the issues facing them and their family. that's what put me over the finish line. we have 89-year-old saying they lived here for the entire life and not once has the mare mayor knock on the door. it is the most important thing. you target the voters and you know how many votes you need to win. you get the voters out to vote. but at the same time, you know, i think why to piggy back on the door knocking with the social media thousands of people being able to read a post or opinion was important and to switch it
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over to governing it's become important. what we have been able to do as mayor we haven't been able to do. we have checks and balances and city council or the school committee, and so, you know, oftentimes whether there's an important issue you go to the city council chamber and make sure we get it. be it to pass my budget and one of the most rented things i created a directer of the economy to focus on art, culture, and tourism. somebody who gets up every morning to connect art to manufacturing to design new products in the city. hospitality and fashion and film. you know, as we seek to sort of embrace a new type of economy in the city. and a lot of folks had no idea what it meant. we had to educate folks about what it meant. we ended up getting 11 counselors in favor to vote for if. i think my third week, the city solicitor whom i appoint with city council conformation was up
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for vote. what i did on facebook tomorrow night my solicitor candidate i appointed will be interviewed and take a vote. can you show up for the meeting and speak in the favor. we had got her friends and people that didn't know her that supported me. you pack the city counsel, as you probably know, people are scared to vote against the folks who show up. and it becomes less a vote when you disagree or grow wanting to apiece the people showing up. whenever there's an important issue before the city council i post it on facebook. i try pack the room and get the counsel to know the issue is important to you. and also very basic thing being mayor when you leave city hall at night. you're the mayor leave. you are at the cafe, the grocery trip, even on a trip they have a right to ask you about anything in the city. oftentimes on a daily basis there's a inbox messages about
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pot holes or getting new sidewalk or the bus didn't pick up my kid on time. if you don't respond people know. call the number, this is what you need to do. and it's also refreshing for people to haven't service in different bays. people call the office all the times about interesting thing and my assistant is here. she takes most of the constituent calls and teases is 23 when. when i got elected people thought he has to be a older woman and and i said i'll hire -- we have known each other since high school and it's been a great experience to bring younger people to the system and also goat know folks who work for the city twenty or thirty years who worked hard for the city and have a new energy to work toward new goals. and we pin people together in city government they are there feeding off taxpayer money. not doing their job.
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one refreshing thing that is people that work for the city are hard workers. the cops, the firefighters, anybody really in city has been there for so long cares about the city. it's an honor to work with the folks as well. >> yeah. i would second -- i would say that it is a social media world is a different world. you can't expect it to exactly what people care about. one of my big i guess challenges when i took office in january was closing -- the $3 million budget deficit for the next year. and to your perspective to close it would have taken a 15% tax increase or we would have to reduce our personnel by 10%. that's 40 out of 400 employees we would have to let go. for the last ten months it's my largest i have been working every day on the budget trying
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to come up with creative ways to increase revenues and creative ways to reduce costs, we did a lot of list of thirty things. and yesterday i proposed my budget proposal for the next year that will pose a $3 million deficit with only threeoffs and a 2.7% increase. four percentage points below the last four years. that got about 12 likes on facebook. [laughter] i stwoant white house and got presidential -- 500 likes on facebook. so exactly. is that on facebook? >> refresh. they must not be reading it right. [laughter] but it is as a tool so the important conversation as mayor morris how you are going to fix
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the city. that has to happen face to face when you have somebody's attention. they can give you their attention and you can give them theres willst there's no way to replicate it. as a -- allow a dialogue to happen, you know, my facebook page. especially after i got elected a funny thing happen it become a touch down public square. a new public square will i know if i want to generate conversation immediately. it is an interesting. i was working with the traffic engineers to fix one of the intersection. it's been a problem in the city. and we drafted something up. and it was too technical. it was literally an engineer draft. i drew on a white board. left turn lane, election lane. immediately and some of it was, you know, negative you get people fighting against each other like if you think a left-hand side turn lane goes there you must be worse than new
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no we are talking about a turn signal. but it is, you know, it's a powerful way to allow conversations to happen and if a time when honestly what's happening in a lot of cities is the traditional media, particularly the local papers, are losing staff or they used to have three people to cover city counsel. government. it's harders and harder to net news about what's happening in the city. my page and twitter page have become clearing house for news. that's been a terrific thing. i try to model it actually after my hero and the guy mentored me a lot over the it's a years is cory booker. it's unbelievable. i don't know when he sleeps. he's there at 3:00 a.m. people say you need to stop retweeting. he retweets with an an answer. call the number. don't know how he does it.
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he enters it all himself. you can tell it's him a staff person would never write. they never would. typos and but it's heart in job. i know, he turned a lot of cynics to believers. >> and he has time to save people from burning buildings. >> i know. he didn't do any favors. >> he ran to a burning building and pulled people out. the tax rate --. >> >> moderator: thank you. any questions in the audience at this point? we have a couple of microphones if you can wait for a mic we'll do up front here and in the back . >> hi [inaudible] george washington university. i have to pick and choose my questions here. but a leader cannot go at it alone to engage citizens,
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develop project and read your vision, what existing networkings do you engage, and what kind of expertise or talent to you make sure to include in the leadership team. this is for the mayors. [inaudible] >> that's a great question. i think there's many ways to do that on the local level in particular. i mentioned before that i had the opportunity to shape a team of department head that work on my behalf be it my deducter of democratic develop, city treasurer and oftentimes you have an opportunity to appoint the people. some counsel conformation. some not. you want to pick people that know more about the subject than i do. people that are going to challenge me. and, you know, the people that respect in most when i interviewed them would tell me i think this the wrong way to go i'm going to let you know. i want you to make an educate decision that is going to affect the public. folks who work for me look out
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for the best of the city are important. sometimes leaders are intimidated by having people be smarter than them or whatever it is around them. that's deferent the way to go. to be able to have a god team. in my position, i don't have time, obviously to do everything to do every economic development project and figure out whether or not, you know, a decision i want to make is legal for the city ordinances or i don't have time to fix the sidewalk. we are to have good people expert in the field and department head positions and that's been probably the best experience is getting good people. i appointed a new directer of economic development the first puerto rican and the solicitor and the department heads that look and speak the language of the people who live in the city. but again, you have to be able to build coalitions and i think that often goes hands and hand with transparency. be it the planning board, the conservation commission, the dpw commission. folks same people have been at the commission for twenty or
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third years and we need new people on the commissions and oftentimes people's term would come up and automatically be reappointed. for the first time in a long time we send out a press release. we are looking for new applications. not to my surprise but other people's we get defns of app cailingses for people that want to volunteer to be on want conservation commission. on the local level, volunteers have a lot of power to make decisions about project. getting a new supermarket. it has to go through the conservation commission and the planning board. they want to give back to the city. nothing against the people who have been on the commission for years. it's not fair to your neighborhood who wanted to be involved in municipal government in some way. to be able to open the doors to city hall. a couple of months ago because we have a high population of spanish speakers in the city. we have been able to partner with the community college to
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provide free spanish classes to all municipal employers. not enough are them are by ealing wall. we want to make sure it is available. as mayor we provide a long-term vision for the city and our democrat has to make sure it happens with our destruction. it's important to have good people around you. >> i would agree with that. i think particularly when choosing staff, you really you have to figure it out when you are dumbest person in the world, you know you're going come up with a good decision. if you are the decision maker and everybody helping to make the decision is senatorrer than you. you're in a god place. that's what i try to do with one of the most decisions you your legal counsel. our city attorney, i choose a young man ra lavigne i thought i was getting the smartest
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attorney in the city, and i ended up getting the smartest one in the state. he's something else. it's amazing how a small decision like that one out of a couple of dozen you make every day. the decisions that get the best person you can. will pay off every single day. you have to know where your blind spots are. i talked about the strength of the young people bring, and i do i joke with the staff that one of my when i lack in experience i make up for in ignorance. right. i got or at least ignorance. i can do that. okay. sorry. it's done now. but, you know, while that can sometimes be a strength it can be a weakness. so finding groups what i've done is assembled small groups instead of one kitchen cabinet.
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i have several groups i meet with monthly who give meed advice and input cocome from different areas of the community and come from a perspective. sometimes they are alone and sometimes they are not. but the decision comes out on the other side. and what never works to attract people the social media has been great. particularly when we have a lot of committees about three dozen volunteer comes committees in the city to help us cover. we are looking for younger people. average age in the city of ilt can is 20 years old. average age on the board committee is many times older that. we need people young people, poor color, facebook and twitter is a great part. what skills can you use to keep them motivated? and to keep them with you? i guess honestly one thing i try to do is when i know i have a
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certain vision, and i adhere to that vision every day when i wake up and every day before go to sleepy think about what i'm going to do that day and i think about what i did that day. and i think how much of my time was spent advancing the city ofth can toward the goal and if it's only 60 or 70% i'm not doing well enough. i need to spend more time. so there's an idea that helps advance us toward those goals at the very least -- people that i like or people that i trust. people who are smart and hard working, my staff or on the city council or member of the community whenever they come to me with another idea of or initiative -- past about it. and instinct after awhile you can sort of get take 2012 meetings a day enough no more meetings or new projects. no more new idea. i true to whenever possible along as it doesn't distract try
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to get the yes. whatever it is i want to do. i try to get the yes and be supportive of their vision. they're going to keep working hard. they keep motivated. this is another corn any thing. no we want more yes. if you are a no but person. you're not welcome at city hall. we'll have a left-hand turn lane you can say no but. yes, and we're going have think about it. how tied needs to be. and what we need to think about. to know it shuts people down and demotivatings people we try to get yes and no buts. >> okay. >> moderator: i think there
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was a hand in the back. yeah. >> hi. so first off, thank you all of you for coming. i came in late my question might be a little bit redundant. i was at the review. also, just special attention to mayor -- cornell class of -- [inaudible] i've, following your story for awhile now. fantastic way to represent big red. the rest of you are cool too but my we is more toward being younger in the field of politics with right in the situations situation where you don't control things in terms where you're trying to forge a bond with other cities dealing with stuff at the state level. how do you overcome more toward the good old boys networking is still there. and it's still a force. like how do you especially i being so young yes you have the youth and you have the academic background but you don't necessarily have the experience.
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how do you encounter that? especially because i would gets in some situations it's amaze belie infuriating. >> yes, well i'll say quickly being five years now in to my elected experience, we sort of learn the back slapping that gets a little more comfortable. you learn the names and the faces of the networks. but honestly as much as the age can sort of keep you out of the old boy's networking it also brings an attention that is positive for the city. they know who i am. they remember that i like to think, they think, that young handsome charming mayor. [laughter] but they actually say the boy mayor out in ithaca. at least they remember ithaca and remember me. they remember because it was unusual. we were asking for money.
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it wasn't unusual. what was unusual was that the person was asking a little bit younger than they were used to. it keeps us fresh in their minds. particularly in a state or d.c. the same is true. you don't have twenty or thirty years in political connections. you have haven't been donating to campaigns or active in other races in those times. that can be a detriment. i think you just try to play your strength, as much as possible, and our strength part of my strength when it comes to advocacy of the city is being unique. >> yeah. i completely agree with that. and, you know, so maybe before i got elected you live in holyoke i live there. you have the young mayor in holyoke. it does a lot in a superficial way to change the image of the city. overnight which i think positive attention given on the city in the high exec ticks for me as a
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individual. whether i like it or not and for the city and i think, you know, being a politicalled a adversary people who didn't vote for me people in elected office that i may not be the favorite, you know, they recognize there's a lot of attention now on the holey yolk because of my age. but it's a great thing, obviously, when you have elected you have the support and the vote of people. i think most importantly people respect that. whether or not they voted for me. i won with 52% of the vote and my goal is when i run again next year is to get more than that. to be able to win people over. -- [inaudible] >> yeah. and obviously you want to be able to win people over. i think it's a challenge and it's an exciting challenge to take an act of people who didn't vote for you who may not support you. you are position to make a bigger difference. i wounden the counsel before i became mayor. i was campaigning my entire senior year of brown. i ran against three other people that were established.
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my election was unique. people wanted something different. the sort of folks be it on the city counsel or people negative folks in general gets tiring after awhile. we want to support mayor moore to let his vision, you know, be realized and i think there's great veteran city counselors, you know, joe mcgiven that have been a big supporter of me and make sure we give the mayor tools we need succeed. i found while there will be people opposed and never vote for me. it's about people and keeping in touch with the people. when i'm having a bad someday or politics is discouraging me, you know, in afternoon, for example, you remember just walk outside of city hall and have a conversation with somebody saying you're doing a greet job. i remember meeting for you. for every negative story in the job, there's ten more people coming up to you and thanks you for everything you're doing. that's the most important part
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of the job. not about the people who have the money are the people who are elected that get you in there. it's the average folks whom you don't see every day that vote for you and support you. that's the most important thing to remember in a position like this. >> when you are electedded you represent everyone whether they voted for you or not. >> moderator: lots of questions now. we'll take one here and then maybe yeah right here we'll gather a couple >> hi. ron thompson, junior at georgetown. my question is the national stage with regard to 2008 we saw a huge turnout after ward there was a common theme that the candidate won but we lost. and, you know, ron paul was able to drive up huge turnout for a bit. he didn't win the prepare and no longer part of that. my question is how do we keep me
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illinois in to the national political scene. which is it may not be the forefront of the politics, but it's where more and more things are getting decided and foreign afares is a huge thing now. so how do we keep them in engaged and involved in this when we're in a constant new cycle, if you're not keeping our attention span, which is short. we shut down and duoto the next thing. >> moderator: maybe we'll grab one more here. [inaudible] and my question is similar ron's. polarization is a word that gets tossed around a lot when talking about american politickings. i hear from a lot of poem my age that the two sides of our democracy spend the entire time fights and no time actually fixing anything. and so i wondered what you would say to someone my age with those of you and what we can do moving
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forward and why they should be interested in politics. yes. i find that to be one of the i don't vote because politics is intoxing. that's like say air is too polluted. i'm not going to plant a tree. who fixes politics or government but us. if you believe politickings are too toxic the thing you can do is register for whatever party or candidate isn't behaving in the negative ways. and get to the point about my less than i didn't mean even in my race, two years out of college, you know, and said a campus community was aware registered hundreds of them. and they just didn't show up. and i think what i found is when you talk to people you only hear the stories why they first started voting or volunteered
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for campaign and why they ended up running for office. they end up running for office. it's amazing how many people end up running for the school board or city council or mayor because they tried to get a stop sign in front of their house. the first time inside in city hall. understanding how government affected them. that's what happened to me. i got hooked on once i started seeing how government worked for us. sometime it is take awhile in your life. sometime it is happens when you're 16, 18, 22. when somebody clicks you have a run in with the government. it's important. but a lot of times it doesn't happen in you're in your 30s and you notice is how much is getting taken out of your taxes each woke or trying to afford a mortgage or you have kids and trying to send them to college or you have kids and watch them go off to war or retire and start allowance on social security or medicare. a lot of things that lock people
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in and get them to focus on government has been later in life. but i think if we did a better job of branding the things that affect us early in life and letting people know was head start important for you? government. was free lunch important to you. government. did you take the school bus to school. government. and letting people know that all of these things that we sort of think of as a part of the world with schools bus, they run. police officers are there because they are there. if we do a abort do a better job of letting them know people are making decisions to directly impact you. that's the stuff that gets them hooked on voting. not because a candidate is cool or because just because it's an election year. they stay hooked forever. >> politics are polarized. i think one the greatest things being mayor or being involved in politics it's not partisan. you know, so the great thing, obviously, you know, there's no democrat or republican way to
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fill a pothole on the local level we can't deficit spend. we have to balance the budget. there's things we have to do as mayor to solve problems you don't see on the strait or federal government. when you look at polling nationally. they are the most popular politicians twaired to congress and the 14% approval rating that has gone down. and it's just different. as mayor you can solve problems and sometime use can solve them in an hour. sometimes in two hours. my mentor is now in congress, and he says one of the things he misses most is being the calls you could give them an answer and solve the problem and it's over. not in a constantly in politically toxic environment where you can't get anything done. sometime it is may feel like that in the local level. what would surprise me most is more people vote in the presidential election than for the mayor. more people should vote for the city counselor and the chief executive office in the city. it matters so much who is in
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office. the number of decisions that coming across my desk every single day. the number of people i appoint to position finance matters who is in the positions. and often people use the discretion to make decisions that affect everybody in the city. if you don't have a voice, you are missing out on the opportunity to your question about making sure we sustain that enthusiasm in politics. i think nationwide we lost, you know, an opportunity beat out the high school or using our k through 12 system the importance of civic and government we come obsessed standardized testing. we don't focus on art or civics and community service. something i've talked about mandating community service for young people. financial literacy, making sure young people know how to buy a house, balance a checkbook, or a loan. those are huge implications for families or communities. we don't talk about it enough. those are things we need to start instilling in young people
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the importance of being an active citizens in your community. >> moderator: to follow up quick. e see that a lot. people who think -- [inaudible] and think that especially national race they can't have a say. so if you can get those people interested in voting. it's not local elections there's town hall meetings. there's volunteer days at elementary school. there's so many things on the local level that have huge impact that people pass up. again i'm not sure why there is so much focus on national elections or arguably it could be harder to have your vote or your voice heard loudly. people who don't vote in national elections shouldn't be cast aside and totally ignored. >> moderator: do you have any thoughts on keeping people in again gauged. >> it's question of the hour for many hours.
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you know, i think what the mayor said it's a matter for bringing politics to the individual in a way that, you know, it's meaningfully engaged. weapon squander the opportunity not using the education system, you know, in many opportunities get them civically involved. you're right to say there's an older emphasis on means of assessing people's capabilities but in fact, the means don't resonated well what one does in a society or one participates. i think creating a -- are useful. and i wrote in my for this program you had to write a statement. who i wrote about in many ways the way we get people to vote are somewhat -- we go a poll high school would you one day a week where you don't get off to work or school and you see sort of contrast what the array of important task we take.
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we i pay our taxes online. we do an array of important security yet we don't utilize the same tools. the most important thing for our democracy. to me it seems on one hand we have to get people civically involved or engaged. that's bread and butter. been out other hand we have use and exercise the tools that are available to us. we talk about also social media but the basic thing such as the internet which something near 70% of americans use that as medium to get people to vote. i ashower you a younger person will feel more inclined than taking off of school or work to go to a polling center. that's me. a fairly do able way to fix it. >> i think it's a great point. a great point. >> moderator: we're running out of time. we can do two more questions. all right. [inaudible conversations] how about this lady here.
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two ladies how about right there? >> i actually had a question -- sorry. i'm a elizabeth or so more at georgetown. i had a question about diversity and the mayors spoke how they were trying to increase what they were talking about initiative they had taken in the city level. and i was wondering for there were any more initiatives at the cities were taking to increase i diversity in local level and demonstration? >> well, we will take -- we sort of view that challenge -- there's diversity with the organization the own city employees and staff and volunteers and trying to recruit a diverse array of volunteers. but also we have what we call the work force diversity committee. a committee that changed the hiring process. but also changed our ongoing training processes. so that our employees are always get regular fresher course. exactly what it takes to work in
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a diverse environment and actually a lot of time it is just reminder what diversity means in the minds of a lot of people. diversity and they think black or white. they're not thinking about the full spectrum of diverse it. it could be religious, it could be sexual orientation. could be diversity. a lot of the departments are not gender diverse. the fire department is entirely male. and almost entirely white. and so we can continue to struggle with that. but we want our -- to be a reflection of the community and of the community we believe, i really believe that infrastructure is an invitation. in so many ways. it's an we turn invitation for people to have lunch and sit together. how we qhooz to develop our
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city, where we chose to put housing and what kinds of housing. if we put low-income housing on one side of the city and high income houses on the ore. we are enforcing what is already a segregated mownty. but we can run the most exciting i think i believe it's happening in the city right now. a $1 million dollar loan for the city of ithaca. a ohio of other funding agency. we have a not for profit building a five-story apartment building. 55 units in the heart of the downtown. you know how affordable housing works. make sure they are on a certain level. a third will be market race. a third are going for people making 80% of the median income. and the third who make 40% of the median income or lower. they are going to be assigned on a first come first serve basis.
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it there won't be folks with the nicest apartments on the top. people will be living close to each other in the heart of the downtown around the most number of people. we try to for the physical environment and up to an great point. you talk about -- if you want to see what a city can do to address larger social and cultural and economic trends, what city planning and infrastructure development has to do with that, you should read a book called "power broker." yeah and you see -- [inaudible] about robert and possibly could read son jane jacobs. you coul see it is sister citizens at the local level have a larger impact open things like diversity and access to opportunity. >> yeah. that's an important point. i agree mostly everything that the mayor just said. and also in terms of access to
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food and transportation, we have to four downtown neighborhoods here. the flats, and holyoke by means of doing a public investment. we have $14 million public library and $8 million senior center, for example, a decision where you're plague placing the investment and the project can make an impact on the people living in the neighborhood. we are building the first skateboard park done for the city kids. we we are putting it downtown. decision like those make a huge decision for people who live downtown. we were in the process of bringing back our redevelopment authority to assist the development office and do do that we have to have a renewable plan. we announced a plan to connect the downtown poor neighborhood and the --
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why first ran for office. folks that don't knock or doors that's where at lot tee knows live. they're not going vote anyway. you have to focus on the upper in the city if you want to live the city. we rejected them and registered new people to vote. knocked on every door. it made a difference and the fact that i am the first mayor to speak spanish speaks vot yum to spanish speaking city in the community. i remember white guy with red hair. nobody is opening door i'm crazy or mormon knocking on the door. i mean, just to be able to speak in someone's language you can
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connect with somebody like no other. it was important for us offer the spanish classes. it was important for me to hire the best people, but people who look like the community people they can relate to. it isn't a one-time thing all the sudden latinos and young people are voting. it's a process. i'm up for re-election again. we want to make -- really made and impact because it's not going to happen in one election. three or four elections down the road do we see higher voter participation rates from the young people in the community. those are people. and young people nationally it's not going to take one election. it's going to take a change in the way we talk about issues that is going to make an impact. >> i promise one more question. we're running out time. i don't know we did short answers. i'm sorry. >> i would like to thank both mayors for being with us. it's been an interesting discussion and i hope it's
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provided some insight for the audience as well. thank you very much. [applause] [applause] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] starting soon on c-span mitt romney and paul ryan hold a campaign valley in fisherville, virginia. it's the first campaign event following last night's presidential debate. ..
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here are some responses of the media service. >> the important issues or may really have to do with women's rights and rights for all the men, not just wealthy when it and the supreme court will go a long way to make sure that those who served for generations to come.
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[inaudible] >> i am a student at the university of denver. and the biggest issue for me is getting a job after i'd done the school. i pay $55,000 a year to come here. i want a job when i leave. >> hi, my name is sandy and the most important issue in this election is health care. it is important that i have access to care that i need. >> one of the most important issues is the quality of the american citizens, especially come into my own as they lgbt american. >> find more about our political coverage on c-span.org/campaign 2012.
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>> next, c-span's campaign 2012 coverage continues at the house debate of north carolina's eighth congressional district. democratic incumbent, larry kissell debates republican richard hudson in this race that the political report is going to likely republican victory. it is courtesy of wect carolina seven. it is an hour 10 minutes. caught mark [applause]
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>> it is our pleasure to introduce to you the candidates in this debate, commerce and larry kissell on the recommended democratic candidate for this congressional seat and on the left is mr. richard hudson, the republican candidate in this race. we've got that reversed according, but you know what they mean, left and right. we'll begin our debate by allowing each of the candidates three minutes to make introductory remarks by a toss of the coin referred began, mr. kissell lasser is comments first. kissell: good morning, richard, chart panelist, thank you for coming. a special thanks to bring at an aarp for allowing this time to consider the special issues of the day that concerns are seniors. to have the best perspective on what i do in representing this district, they think you need to look at where i come from and what are the influences of my life.
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a group in in the town of disco and not every county. my mom and my dad are part of what we now refer to as the greatest generation. it is from this community and my family sailor my values, my belief in my faith. looking back, if he were my community was blessed with having many of these greatest generations in our communities, teachers, leaders, businessmen, people in our churches, family, who continued to go about their jobs day-to-day in our community great, but also making america great. i worked 27 years in textiles tell the center jobs elsewhere. i refuse to simply just hang up. so in the fall of 2001, i applied for a job in teaching. on monday i quit that job in on tuesday i was teaching high school social studies. they gave me a book in a key and said good luck. our economy continues to flounder and we watch washington
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find more bad trade deals hairbrush did make more decisions that was not good for a part of the world, so i decided to run for congress. i'd never run for an office before at any level. never involved in politics of any level. but i had a firm belief that it went to the people and you have been assiduously for them and they would listen to you. and our congress, i fully know that i work with the people of this district, all of the people of this district when i raise my hand and was sworn into the representative. i knew that i would represent all of the people in this district. i truly believe the job title and job description of being representative is just that. you represent the people. one of the finest lavender growing up was you keep your word and promises are made to be kept. this has guided me in the policy towards our seniors in medicare and social security we should
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keep our promises. i have refused to use our seniors as bargaining chips in the game by washington plays. they deserve better than not. we should keep our promises. i will work with anybody that keeps the promises and promotes promises of our seniors. i will oppose any one who threatens this promise, whether it's through privatization or vouchers are restructuring. our seniors deserve better than this. once again, thank you for coming today. >> moderator: and mr. has-been. hudson: thank you peer thank you to the aarp for organizing this debate and wingate for hosting. it's always a pleasure to be an campus to you. my name is richard hudson. i run for congress because i'm fed up with the direction washington politicians are taking our country. we all know the problems here skyrocketing debts, out-of-control spending from the regulations small businesses,
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social security and medicare on a path to bankruptcy can you politicians continue to keep the can down the road and our values in the meantime are just been set aside. we all know the problems of what we are not seen from washington are solutions and that is what i hope to change. but if donovan, is my sincere pleasure to be with you today. for many months i campaign has been walking door to door agreement calling on the telephone time meeting you and your neighbor has, working hard for every single vote. this election is not about political parties. it's not about individual personalities. this election is about real people in this election is about what you want to send to washington to represent your values every day? today we are going to have two very different visions of america that we are going to discuss. my vision puts people before politics. my vision returns jobs to our communities and provide secure retirement for all americans.
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my vision gets rid of the medicare cut out any affordable care act and says no to stimulus and bailouts and the boondoggle is a waste of money. in my vision, we talk honestly and truthfully to the american people. like i said, there's two distinct visions. congressman kissell position is different. congressman kissell order to keep billions of dollars of cuts in the affordable character of those are damaging to each one of you. congressman kissell supported and voted for our bailout -- excuse me turn to stimulus. $821 billion stimulus plan that wasted our tax dollars and promises prosperity and jobs. yet here we are $16 trillion in debt and unemployment north carolina, 9.7%. this type was the very future of our retirement in jeopardy. and makes it harder for us to solve problems like social security and medicare funding problems we are facing because of the mountains of debt.
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to make matters worse, congressman kissell raise the social security trust fund while doing nothing and having no plan to solve the problems of these plans. just a few examples of our differences. i look forward to the opportunity to address more of this. but the facts are, ladies and gentlemen, this isn't about politics. it's about real people. to find solutions to the problems we face. i will close by asking a question to congressman kissell not the first time which is, you better off today than you were four years ago when congressman kissell got to congress? the answer is no. we need jobs, winning security for retirement and the only way to make the changes as the data change the people in the government. so i ask you for your support. thank you. >> would now like to introduce our panel is to ask questions of each of the candidates for the next 45 minutes. first we have beat thompson, a well-known radio and tv
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personality. she is a nurse and public affairs director at wpp in charlotte and a host of a top-rated radio talk show called straight talk with b. thompson. in the middle is dr. joseph ellis. dr. lewis is the assistant director of political science here is wingate has been at the university for four years and has been a great addition to our faculty. before joining us, dr. ellis was the faculty at the university of tennessee. some of the people in the audience are students of dr. alice's class. thank you for joining us. to the right of dr. alice's daddy. she's retired as the area aging fleet on aging where she lives. she's also on the aarp north carolina executive council. we will begin out questions for the panelist. each candidate will have three minutes to answer each question posed by the panelists. we will alternate who answers each question first. we have a timer set up to let the candidates know when their
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time is that the mobile alternate who responds to questions from here on out. mr. kissell from the first question at you. >> good afternoon in thank you for the time to address her constituents. the first question i have is a two-part question. first, how important do you think social security is to retirement income security? how important do you think social security is to retirement income security? in the second part of the question is, what is the biggest challenge facing social security in the future? >> thank you for the question. the answer is it's very important because it is a promise we have made. we've told folks that money will be there and we keep our promises. enter the second part of the question, tell them to quit stealing money from the social security trust fund.
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>> same question to you, mr. has-been. how important you think social security is to retirement income security and what is the biggest challenge facing social security in the future? hudson: first part, social security is absolutely critical. my parents are on social security. i know they've made their plans based on having that they are. and so i know from a personal example it is important and it's important to hundreds of thousands of people across the state. the biggest threat to our social security system is the status quo. it is doing nothing because we know for a fact that by 2036 the social security trust fund is broke. so we know that the alternative to doing something to reform the system is this going to be 25% cut in benefits in the very near future. in addition to that, the fact
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that congress continues to spend more money than it takes in, in the four years we've added five showing dollars to our national debt, over 16 chinese we've got less money to use to do with this and to find a reform. so i'm committed as a member of congress to dealing with this in a very serious way, not continuing to kick the can down the road and hope someone later will solve the problem. we have to solve it now. we have to be serious about it in the have to do it in a bipartisan way and i planted by the leadership we need to do it. >> moderator: for question two, dr. alice's question directed to mr. hudson again. >> and issue a general perspective about the program and the roles of medicare going forward? hudson: well, the medicare program is also critical. and if you look at what the 20 told medicare trustee report tells us, the medicare system is headed to his bankruptcy in 2024. there's others that argue and
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may be broke as early as 2016. so this is not an issue with domino. this is an issue just a few years away from us. if you look at the affordable care act as i mentioned in the opening statement has over $700 billion out of the medicare system, the congressional budget office says is that pushes us into an even faster path towards that system going broke. and so, we need to do with the situation now. congressman kissell has voted to support the affordable care act multiple time for congress in support of those cuts. i would vote to restore skies. congressman kissell hasn't offered a plan to solve the medicare crisis. i will do that. the first thing in i will never support any plan that makes any change to medicare for anyone at or near retirement. second thing is for people of my generation and younger. i am 40 years old.
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i want to offer choices. i want to offer a menu of choices include the current medicare program, but also include other plans preapproved by medicare, very similar to the plan the congressman hans in the federal health care plan. we have a ranger programs to choose from and you can pick the plan that best meets your needs are the third thing is about to drive down health care costs. we've got to replace the affordable care act with reforms more market-based. to do that first of all we need to change the tax code so individuals can have an incentive for buying insurance. for example, if you work for a company now that provides health insurance, your payments in the health care plans, pretax. as an individual, small business website shows you don't get that break. i will reform the tax code to give individual separate. seconding is to force insurance companies to compete across straight lines. it doesn't make sense to let
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them compete. that competition will drive down costs. next thing is i believe we ought to let individuals and all businesses band together to purchase insurance so they have the same economy of scale to larger corporations have in a purchase insurance and that again will lead to better competition and also primark is that insurance companies will compete for driving down the cost of health care. another thing we've got to do is we've got to have tort reform. i keep looking for rabbi. right now doctors give tax that may not be necessary, but their incentive is that they get sued if they want to stay in the courtroom, i i did everything i could. so they run test after test and some of them may not be necessary. to no changes are people at or near retirement. need to offer choices to younger generations and finally, we've got to have reforms that shut down costs.
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>> moderator: in the interest of fairness, will that mr. kissell answer the question. from now on will direct towards one candidate. where the question again. >> can you share your general perspective about the medicare program and the rules about the program going forward. kissell: medicare is one of those promises we have to debate here the people to pay taxes towards this, they have the right to expect that program will be there for them. i have seen both political parties use medicare as a bargaining chip. one party has hundreds of billions of dollars in the affordable care act and the other tax about vouchers. we need to just reassure the people that medicare is going to be there and we'll keep that that promise. >> all right. we will go to bed a rising. this is directed to mr. kissell. >> thank you for being with us today. how would you help americans though the financial nest egg for their retirement?
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kissell: at the answer is the economy. for the seamanship hundreds of thousands of jobs offshore. we have signed repeated bad trade deals such as continue to hurt our economy. we've got to concentrate on making things here again american manufacturing, in america, to bring these shots that. and when we do that and the economy starts to do what he should be doing, then not only will seniors, but are middle-class, young people, all people better off have a better financial future. we've got to bring the jobs back to concentrate on the american manufacturing. >> moderator: want to remind you that we want to hear from you and the idea and. if you have not done so yet, please raise your questions on index cards received at the registration will pass this to the center aisle and the staff will collect it. okay, we'll do that in half an hour or so.
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next question from b. thompson. this goes to mr. hudson. >> for the second round of questions, mr. hudson commode start with this. but proposals are discussed in washington to modify medicare are you most concerned about? and are there any you baber? but proposals being discussed in washington to modify medicare are you most concerned about? and are there any that you favor? hudson: well, to answer your question i'm most concerned around a lot of serious proposals that old washington to do with not a care. it seems the politicians are more interested in kicking the can down the road. like i said before, rather than taking taking a serious look from the house of representatives has voted on a plan, a basic framework for this, but there really isn't any other discussion going on. no leadership coming out of washington to fix the problem. until is the problem is just a
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few years away. at the most us bloggers away from us and we got to seriously deal with it. now that explains my approach in my principles would be first of all, do not change anything or anyone at or near retirement because those folks, just that my mother i medicare today. hi, mom. she counts on that medicare. i won't do anything to change medicare for her anyone your future retirement. second life, we've got to reform the system was going to go bankrupt. and so, for people my age or younger, we had to offer a range of choices and one of the choices can be just in the current plan, but there are other options out there for insurance companies will compete for the business where you drive down the cost and rather than have someone pay for health care plan for things they don't need, or as we get towards coming out, as the program runs out of
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money, the affordable care act created a 15 person panel in these unelected bureaucrats had to decide how they want to spend it. i summoner shanks, those who want to you what health care they can have. they will tell you which you can't have because the direction is benefits. so that is the wrong model. the model i support allows for choices. private insurance companies to be peapproved by medicare and let people choose, just like the congressman's plan that he has or the federal government. he is a range of options. you can choose a health care plan he wants. i want every american to have the same choice. that is the system i will support. >> moderator: at mr. kissell, same question. kissell: i want to claim equal time and say hello to my mom who is 97 years old. you know, we hear the plans of privatization.
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we hear about vouchers, restructuring. all of these plans will gut the program in order to preserve it. now when you got something in order to preserve around here, that is called taxidermy, not public policy. we should keep our promises. >> next question from joseph allison goes to mr. kissell again. >> i question my employment. does the federal government had grown up in older workers maintain jobs or reenter the workplace? kissell: you know, we never underestimate the value of our seniors. have you seen seniors at work were seniors volunteering? they have immense capabilities, advanced knowledge, immense experience and we should use that as we try to restore the american economy. these folks have been there. they've done it. they've made america great. we should always be reaching out to them for their experiences.
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>> moderator: mr. had seen. hudson: i'm concerned about all americans having jobs. i is for the congressman. older americans have plenty of ability. i was visiting a friend and stamina county. mr. nance is in his 90s and told me about his background. at a military career, private-sector career. and several assumptions. as we came up the driveway, mr. nance is driving around on his meal electronic driving mule he'd been working harder than i had that day. so all americans that have opportunities for jobs and we shouldn't restrict because of their age. i am really concerned that 50% of high school graduates -- college graduates can't find jobs in the field they are looking for. so i think the federal government, what is the role of federal government to get jobs,
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what can we do to get the government out of the way to create jobs is the question i would ask. we've got to have a tax structure that makes a lot more sense than cinema is a small business. we've got to roll back out of control regulations that it just spiraled over the last four years that crush small business, but take away profit margins and incentives for people to create jobs. there's got to have energy policy that makes sense. someone asked me once what i thought of our national energy policy. i said we had to have one. that would be a good start because right now we don't. we need to go after american sources to drive down costs and health care costs continue to rise for small business. so at the federal government can do things to get out of the way and create the engine of growth, there will be more jobs for everybody. it will be lot easier to find. that is my approach. >> this will go to mr. hudson. >> would you propose any changes
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to social security be there for current beneficiaries, or, for future generations? hudson: thank you for the question. you are in familiar territory and thanks for being here today. as i said before, i would not support any programs they made any change to someone at or near retirement and social security. if we don't hear anything, social security will go broke or 2036 sonatas at the present some people tell us. so that is a bipartisan number. so we know we've got to do something. i would absolutely support reforms. it is not as complicated a proposition as it is involving problems with medicare being broke. input and come and put a program. , there's a number of options. packets if you haven't picked them up you can take on that
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list the options people are discussing. now, the problem is that people in washington don't have the will to do it so you need people like me who will go to washington and tackle this and they want to tax republicans can attack to democrats and make tough decisions. so absolutely i support reforms for folks in my generation and younger. >> moderator: mr. kissell. kissell: $1.7 million. that is how much money has been stolen from taxpayers to put into the social security trust fund coming four years put into the social security trust fund. if we had that money better, if the government had kept his hands up that money, how much further down the road with the security of our seniors be a? what age do we say the cutoff will be a? we are not talking about those ages. keep the promises for the people as they enter the workforce.
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>> moderator: this question is from b. thompson director to mr. kissell. >> a few minutes ago we asked a question about modifying medicare. let's look at social security. what proposals being discussed in washington now to modify social security do you favor? and which are the most concern to you? >> obviously i consider in favor quit raiding the social security trust fund. if we get that money back, the interest back, and the issues we talk about or postponed on the road. that's first and foremost we got to do. the things that concern me the most is the manipulations or hear about vouchers and privatization and restructuring. keep the promises to the folks who went into the workforce. that is what made america great is keeping our promises. >> question is what proposals discussed in washington to modify social security to favor?
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and was sure of the most concern to you? mr. hudson. hudson: okay, first of all, i would say i agree with the congressman we need to stop reading the social security trust fund. but unfortunately, congressman kissell voted to raise the trust fund. so you know, one way to stop that was the two are likely to congress. i would certainly support that. to be more serious, i will start at the same answer and medicare. there is no one in washington with a serious proposal to fix the social security problem and that is one of the biggest problems the politicians kick the can down the road. they talk about it. they say things that don't raise the trust fund, but where's the fix? we know their options out there to fix it. one of them was to raise the retirement age. there were other options where you change the output, change the amount of benefit coming
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out. i'm not going to debate with myself of what the formulae to be, but forrester now after been in congress, i won't be what is stated that a plan. we are going to address as defined in congress to move back to because we are running out of time. it's irresponsible to keep kicking the can down the road. >> moderator: mr. alice, question to mr. hudson. >> seniors buy insurance from the choice of plans with a contribution from the federal government to pay their premiums. would you support this approach instead of the traditional medicare approach? kissell: i think that is the right starting point because there's basically two visions here. one says the government will tell you what kind of health care you can have. the gumbo tell providers what they will be paid and you'll get the benefit they give you. now, that is not a great system. when you realize the system is running out of money and by 2020
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for our summer to buy 2016, will be out of money and by the way, bureaucrats will tell you what kind of benefits you get. we are talking about rationing. we are talking extreme rationing. and so that is not the worldview. the other vision is, let's have choices. that's the power in the hands of individuals. uzbek insurance companies compete for that business. the competition will drive down costs. the same thing happened in medicare part d with prescription drugs here because insurance companies are competing for the business, they had competing plans come at a chart on the cost. when they were debated in congress, some on the other side said we need to set a price for what the drugs will be. the price they talk about setting are higher than what they ended up eating for competition. i think that is a good starting point for looking at how to reform the system for people my age and younger. i will not support any change or anyone at or near retirement.
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those are people who count on that benefit. people like my mother. we are not going to change the promise we make to them. so yes, good starting point, but only for those younger than those at or near retirement. >> moderator: congressman kissell. kissell: no. >> moderator: thank you. ..
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taking the consideration our rules seniors we been working on that too. i have support getting the seniors what they have been promised and what they deserve. >> moderator: mr. hudson. hudson: i agree. i support cost of living adjustment as well. i believe at the time several years without a cost for seniors on things like food, on energy costs, for heating their homes, all are increasing, i think we may be using the wrong factor when they factor that to determine with a the real cost are to seniors. i would support looking at different way to calculate it. >> moderator: round three of questions. b. thompson. two mr. hudson first. baby boomer generation that exchanged demographic we move through getting older. you made mention you would not want to change the program -- parameter of social security and
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meditator those close to retirement. what's close what's not close? the vast majority of bean boomers will be getting in to that window of retirement. what do you say to those who have worked since they were 14, 5, 50 years working under our belt. we're not quite in the window you say not to touch. how do you see reforms for the largest group of people who are were soon to be looking at social security and medicare? hudson: i understand your question. any time you go to a transition. there's folks close to whatever cutoff date you set or age you set. i think congress should use 54 or 55 years old whatever the cut off is. the plan i support beyond not touching anyone who is at or near retirement to still offer traditional medicare as an option to anyone. and so i'm 40 years old, under
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my pension, the way i look at this, when i retire i still have the option of traditional medicare and so that's the type of plan i would like to see to offer that option so that, you know, the chart have been throne around here that about vouchtures and cutting the system. i don't support vowtures, or cutting the system. what i support is giving more choices. i think every american ought to have the same option that congressman kiss l has when he looked at the health care plan when he pick between a range of approved plans. i think everyone should have that option. folks counting on medicare one of the options is traditional medicare. kissell: i think your question is the answer. how do you determine that cutoff? how do you tell somebody to work twenty years, thirty, fort years, i'm sorry we changed the rules on you. once again, keep the promises of
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the person in the entered the work force. it's simple. >> moderator: joseph ellison, the next question. it will go to mr. kissell first. >> one of the specific challenges that face seniors in this particular district, what would you do to help the seniors? kissell: well, in looking at this specific district as i talked about earlier, that our economy went south on us not four years but ten or twelve years ago when we made the bad trade deals and we started losing their jobs. people that worked all that have lives were using their savings to get by. that's the biggest challenge our seniors have. our economy has not been good for some time. that's why i -- to make sure that we concentrate on american jobs, american manufacturing, bring the jobs back to the district. if we do that, then we will improve the lives of everyone in
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this district. >> moderator: mr. hudson? hudson: i agree with what the congressman's response in terms of, you know, job loss and tough economy not new to this district. even when the economy was god in north carolina. lots of places were suffering. it lot has to do with the job loss. and for years textiles were using as a bargaining agreement. they were first thing to give up while trying to achieve larger goals for the country. our district has suffered more than any other in the country because of that. there are other factors they continue to keep job loss in the district down and the biggest factor are the policy over the last four years under the president and those policy have created an environment uncertainty. i talked to people every day in this disctrict small business owners, right over here in monroe i talked to home builder who said i don't see profit on
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the horizon. i don't think about making profits. i just look for any job i can get just so i can keep making payroll so i don't have to layoff anymore employee. that's what small business people are going through. barely hanging on. they say to me, if you can get the government out of the way, i keep keeping the regulations i have to follow and more paper work and time. i don't see any benefit. agricultural is the biggest industry in the district. to me it's the best opportunity to grow jobs. you look at hundreds of regulations and new regulations last years for farmers. and the mountains much paperwork that regulations do nothing improve the environment. and so i think the biggest challenge for us is we have to create jobs, we have to have an environment of certainty where people who own businesses in the district are willing to expand and hire people and people who have an idea living somewhere in the district that want to start
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start their own business but they can't because of the banking regulation. you can't project the year from now when the cost will be when you don't know when the cost will be or energy costs are going to be. you don't know when the regulatory scheme is going to be as the epo continues to roll out regulation after regulation. create that certainty. create that environment, and the economy in this district will take off. we have some best in the country here. we have folks in the state that worked in for example tile anding a curl. we have the best people if we can unleash them. we can create a hiring boom across the district and that's a vision i have for the district. >> moderator: mr. hudson's question. >> well, the health care cost are rising every day, and there are more and more medicare beneficiary particularly the baby boomers are getting to the age. those two things are creating a
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real strange strain on the medicare program. what do you think is the best way to address those things that are in that program and putting a strain on it? hudson: the first thing is, we ought to restore the $8 00 billion that congressman kissell voted to take away for medicare with the affordable care act. we have reform the system for my age and younger. the system is going broke, again, this is not a partisan issue. the actuary at medicare will tell you the system is going broke by 2024. that's twelve years from now. other experts say we have six years. this is a dire situation. we have to address it. so the way i would to is not touch anyone at or near retirement but for those who are younger, there's a very clear difference between our two approaches. congressman kissell tell us what
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kind of health care we get stick with the system. i say we need system that offers choices. just like you get when you're a member of congress. you have to have real market-based reform to drive down the cost of health care. as long as the government sets the rice and tells you what you very can't have. prices will continue to rise. if we can get insurance company competing for the business. if we can give a tax credit to buy your own insurance or give you the ability to come together with others as a small business owners let you band together with other small business and buy insurance with the economies like the the big businesses. it it's cuts cost. if we can get tort reform and get the needless tests doctorses do in case they get sued. they drive down the cost. it creates a better system where you don't lose the quality of care like you will under the affordable care act plan. you have quality, you can lower price and more choice. individuals are making health care decisions individuals are
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deciding what kind of health care they want. that's my vision. >> mr. exist l? kissell: just a quick point. i agree with him about the pornts of agricultural. i would like to point out both terms of in congress i have gotten the farm bureau friend of the pardon farmer. when i saw the affordable health care act cut medicare i knew then and told everyone i made the commitment i would vote no. i voted no every time that bill came up. it was passed but not because i voted for it. i voted no every time. we cut that money out and talk about vouchers and other ways we're going cut other money. we can't ensure the vitality of medicare both parties keep using for political games manship and deny they have cut someday. glm this question from b thompson it goes to mr. kissell first. >> what is the one thing that
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you would bank or do to save or rescue social security? the one thing that you would back or do to save it, rescue it, extend social security? kissell: one thing i have already done is support legislation to keep the government from stealing the money out of the social security trust fund. >> moderator: mr. hudson? hudson: well thing i would not do is vote the way congressman kissell did in 2009. which rated the social security trust fund. we have to stop doing that. and i wouldn't do that. the other point i would like to make is the congressman said he voted against affordable care act every time. the fact of the matter is, you voted 23 times to support it. or to partially to opposely defunding obamacare. 23 times. and maybe one time you voted right. the other time you didn't vote
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right. maybe several times you voted the correct way. 23 times, you voted supportive to obamacare. and so iom not sure where you stand exactly. i can tell u the voters in this district, you will always nowhere i stand. will i do everything i can to repeal obamacare. >> moderator: my question is what is the one thing you would do to save, preserve, or extend social security? hudson: i would not vote to rate it like congressman kissell. >> moderator: question. joseph ellis to mr. hudson, please. >> moderator: two years from now if elected what changes would you like to see in washington or what would a hudson administration look like. hudson: i wouldn't call it a hudson administration. i understand where you're coming from. two years from now i would love to be back here on the campus,
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either having a debate or maybe just overusing the one podium. it might be nicinger. but i would like to come back and report to you that republicans and democrats in washington came together and reformed social security an reformed medicare and that we now have a system that is solved in to the future. and, you know, i think i have laid out clearly some of the individual things i lilled toik see in the reform. but to me, it's a matter of will. it's a matter of going up there and showing leadership and making sure we can codo and i commit to the voters of the district, if you give me the chance, i'm going fight hard to make sure it happens. kissell: i will continue to do what i've done in the two years of congress. i will listen to the people of the district. they have the best idea. ly carry those dwrod washington. i work with people on both sides of the aisle to implement those reforms or ideas or changes whatever it might be so we can move the nation forward.
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i'll keep doing swlai been doing. i think the people of this district, they know what that is, and they have supported me. thanks. >> moderator: next question from bet toy to mr. kissell. >> if you are our representative for this district, how would you go about keeping the citizens informed and how would you have communication with them and what sort of forums would you use to accomplish that? kissell: well, once again, i would continue to do what we do. we are a cost of communication with the people in the district. i'm out in the district and about all the time we have staff, the senate district, my chief of staff is not washington. my chief of staff is here in the district. we do weekly callen so the people know what we are thinking. we answer the letters promptly. we communicate with the people and keep on doing that. >> moderator: mr. hudson? hudson: i'm old fashioned. i think you need to look people in the eye and give them a chance to talk to you
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personally. i'm going to spend more time being assessable in the district. congressman kissell i give you credit, has very good system of replying to letters. he does columns in the paper. i think they are good things. they are things i would want to continue. i think you need to do town hall meetings. i think you need to put open office hours. come by the office and the congressman will be there. i think you need to be more assessable. you need to be seen more. and people need to know how to find you in the district. and i would say that's an intriew.d i would make. [applause] >> moderator: the question for b. thompson and directedded to mr. hudson. >> how do you propose more or a better nonpartisan approach to legislation that benefits the people and not the parties? hudson: outstanding question. one of my biggest concerns about
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washington is that it seems like both sides just can't communicate to one another. it seems like if one person has good idea but they wear the other jersey, then the other team can't support that idea. they don't want that team to win. it's that kind of atmosphere, it's almost poisonous, it shouldn't be that way. but i truly believe you have to put the interest of the country first. one of my role models, some of you may have heard of him jesse helms. we stand on campus, senator helms is role model when it comes to working across the aisle. i continue think anyone would argue he would ever comprise the principles. that is the one thing heed to for what he believes is right. i remember he and ted kennedy work on issues together. i remember him working across the aisle many times on different issues with different senate and i remember him being voted the most liked senate republicans and democrats alike because of the approach.
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and so i believe number one is people in the other side of the aisle have to trust you, they have know when you take a position based upon your principles, and so they know they can trust you. they're not going switch back and forth to one side of the issue because on politics. trust is important. and secondly, you have to make the effort. you have to be willing to walk across the other side of the chamber and stick out your hand and talk to someone. i was the chief of staff in washington before i came home to run. and one of the things i noticed was on the staff level republicans and democrats don't talk. and so i started a little deal called the breakfast club. we have six republicans and six democrats we meet for breakfast once a month then it grew to 12 and 12. we started meeting in the evening and more regularly. we never talked policy or issue. we got to know each other and built relationship. it paid off for us at times. i think if you take that approach, you build trust with
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people across the aisle, when it comes time to work with someone you have nothing that build on something and achieve it. that's a model i approach. kissell: once again, we have worked on both sides of the aisle since i went to washington. that i am a moderate, i believe that's with the answers are, i believe that's where the majority of the people in our district are. i have seen people in washington that starting to move to the safety of their parties or their ideology, and fewer people are willing to come forward to the middle and find solutions. that's where i am. that's where i work with people. i'm the co-chair of the weekly practically fast in washington. we come together bipartisan to just know about each other. i have from the very beginning i decided that we're going to be working, you know, with both sides of the aisle, we have cosponsored pieces of legislation with republican colleagues and we'll continue to do that. >> moderator: question from
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owe receive to mr. kissell. >> since we are at the university, what sort ever educational opportunities do you think can be made available for seniors but the greater public to increase their ability to have a job and be more educate? kissell: education is my biggest concern. i think that is the one issue that there is just, you know, the answer is elusive. it's the most important answer to move our nation forward to allow individuals to move forward themselves but keep our nation at forefront of everything that we hold as being valuable. our seniors are fully capable of, you know, going back to school or going to school. i was at community college graduation where there was a gentleman who was 77 years old getting his degree. we just make the opportunities to seniors available and they'll take advantage of it and continue to help us in our society.
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>> moderator: mr. hudson. hudson: i would say we have to have jobs for people to repair if the jobs. i think certainly improving the economy, getting the government out of the way so we can have economic growth so small business people will expand and hire people. it's important part of it. but our universities do a tremendous job in north carolina of being responsive to the community. we also have a tremendous community college system. that does a tremendous job of providing skills to workers. especially when we try to attract new companies to an area. that's important. and obviously having the programs open to seniors and giving them the option of participating. i think it's important. we'll allow each candidates up to three minutes to answer and alternate who gets to answer first. the first question for
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mr. hudson and the question is, there you in favor of a allowing social security recipients to invest the social security donations or not? if yes or no, why? hudson: well, what i don't support is any kind of change like that for anybody who is at or near retirement. and but you know what i'd like to see is people younger in my generation is looking for some other alternatives. and if one of the alternatives is offered choice to stick with the same system or look at another option, that may be one of the things we need to get. but we certainly can't continue what we're doing. because we not system will go broke and we can't continue to vote to raid the social security trust fund like congressman exist l has. >> moderator: are. >> are now favor or not? hudson: i think stay with the system we have. i think we work together and
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keep the promise together. i want to point out in a bipartisan way that cang did pass a one-year foregoing of the social security tax in light of the severe economic crisis we're in. we thought it might be god for the people to have that money to help themselves rather than government using it. and sending it somewhere else. we have to protect the social security trust fund and sticking this together to keep the promise. >> moderator: the question for mr. cises. l. -- in medicare ever racing taxes. kissell: no. hudson: same answer. >> moderator: mr. hudson first. if medicare should go bankrupt in 2006 what do you propose to replace medicare? glue hudson: we can't allow it to be replaced. my mother is counting on it. i don't accept the premise behind the question. i think question save it and preserve it. i have committed to you sending know congress and i'll do that.
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kissell: we can't accept that premise. it's not going happen. we can't let it happen. >> moderator: i should ask both of you what do you propose to replace it i'm not sure either of you answered question. kissell: i don't think you replace it. i think you need to add more option for people younger than those at or near retirement. so it's the same kind of option a member gets. you can choose traditional medicare or choose from a range of plan has repreapproved by medicare. it gives you more option and also drive down cost and so you get better quality, lower cost, more choices for individuals, versus the other model that congressman exist cisessed defend. appointed have no one overseeing them, and they decide what kind of health care you get and, by the way, the pot is going to
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shrink all the way until it's gone in 2024. they have to tell you what you can't have to save the cost. >> moderator: what is your proposal. kissell: there's an aspect of washington that often give use a little bit of good. this tied to a lot of bad and in the premise is you have to accept that little bit of good because it's good. and then you have to take that bad along with it. i don't accept that we're going lose social security. i won't allow, and we need to keep that promise and so that little bit of good is tied to a lot of bad. i don't have a plan because we don't need one. let's protect what we got. >> moderator: the gre a high school student in the audience. it will go to mr. kissell first. social security not an entitlement. the high school student writes with, it has been paid for by the citizen via hard work. what do you do to ensure the future strength of the social security system mr. kiss l. kissell: you might pick up a pattern here.
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i'm appreciative of a high school student. i was a high school teacher. we have to keep the promise swrep to protect the social security. and keep our promises. >> moderator: mr. hudson? hudson: i think it's dishon toast continue to say we are going to kef driving toward cliff. we know by 2064 we are going to run off the cliff. we are going did keep the promises. and, by the way, we going to raise the trust fund along the way and make the trip shorter and that's irresponsible. we to talk straight to the american people and let know there has to be changes made or we're going to lose our social security. we have to preserve and protect that system. to don't do nothing and say trust me is not working. >> moderator: the question for mr. hudson. in term arrest -- do you think the federal government has a responsibility to provide health care to all citizens?
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similarly, what solutions do you have to offer for those with preexisting conditions being denied coverage? hudson: well, i'll gobbing go back and start with the preexisting cog addition. it is a pretty easy fix. what we found as the affordable care was passed and we realized it was part of the mandate. insurance company have found it easy to close that gap on that. but i certainly support incoming preexisting conditions and in the health care. but the answer to the first part of the question, this the differences could not be more stark between mr. exist l and myself on the pressure hep believes that the government they tell the physicians how much they're going to pay for them for services and, by the way, we're already seeing physicians drop out of medicare. the future that mr. kissell offers is less ak sets to care
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for seniors because less and less doctors are going to take your care. you have a rations board unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats who take a small pot of money and tell you what kind of health care you can out of the little pot of money. that is the wrong vision. the vision i offer is give power to individuals to make health care decisions. use market pace forced. give individuals a tax credit so they can buy insurance themselves. give them the able to band together as groups or small business so they can buy insurance at more affordable rate and attract insurance companies to create more products to get their business. allow insurance company to compete across state lines. you can drive down cost through competition. you reform the medical liability system so doctors stop giving tests to protect themselves from lawsuit. you drive down costs by doing less test that aren't necessary. these are factors using forces to drive down cost.
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you don't sacrifice quality of care or access of care like the other system. kissell: just out of curiosity, keep the record straight, i was one of the original cosponsor to get rid part affordable health care act. i voted to do that when it came up on the floor. as i talked about earlier often times in washington you see a little bit of good fied with a lot of bad. there were things like doing away with preexisting conditions, keeping children on have the capability keep them on parent's insurance until age 26. do get rid of the doughnut hole. all of these can be done on stand alone bills. that's the way we should do it. >> moderator: we'll take a question from the panelist. ..
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i call the death tax. it's inheritance tax. let's think about what '02 talking about here. the person buys a piece of land and pays taxes. before they earn that money and paid income tax on the earnings. sohen they pass away and leave it to whoever they decide to leave it to. you pay a fourth tax. it's immoral. i'll do everything i can to eliminate the death tax. mr. kissell voted to continue the death tax certainlied at the lower rate than the top rate we ended up at. to me that's not a good enough solution. we have to eliminate the debt
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tax. it's unfair tax on seniors that can't afford it and what it often leads to is that the children have to sell the business or sell the farm to pay the tax. and that's not fair. >> i may have confused them a little bit. before you die -- length of [laughter] and leave your land to children. what about tax relief for them while they're still here. hudson: property taxes determined by the state. you're asking about federal income tax for seniors. >> any way they can get it. [laughter] hudson: yeah. i have never seen a tax i didn't want to reduce or cut. i would be for it. [applause] ..
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that is something that has been kicked down the road once again as much as i hate that expression. we can look at aspects of what our seniors, and now, what can we help them with this line is helping others can create a better system. once again for the record, i did see this debt tax every time it came out. >> moderator: our government is spending too much and has to borrow. what you forgo a year of your salary to help? [laughter] kissell's question first.
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kissell: the first act in congress that i signed on to us even before i was sworn in. anyways scarred congressional. i sign on two bills that would have foregone congressional say that if we could not pass the budget, then we should not get paid. as to whether or not we should forego a years' worth of pay, that would be tasked because we are working americans. but yeah, if that is what we need to do to show we're serious,, we would. >> moderator: mr. has-been. hudson: i certainly agree with mr. kissell that if congress doesn't do their job, congress hasn't passed a budget like the senate hasn't done for a number of years, then certainly you don't do the job you shouldn't get paid for it. [applause] >> moderator: the last question from audience. aarp has provided keeping to
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medicare and social security solve. why doesn't congress utilize solutions to write straightforward bills and passed on to implement the solutions? will go to mr. hudson first-period hudson: the promise of folks in washington are more concerned about their own reelections in their own party been in power than they are doing the right thing. as i said in my journal, the problem of social security is on has the will to address it right now and they would much rather throw out terms then used a political football social security's end to reform it. for once i'd offers an alternative, the other side eris added from alternative. and that is the washington we're dealing with today. it is one of the main reasons i run for congress. just like you people out there are sick of it. we have two people more concerned with the right things for this country that worried about the reaction and that is the way we saw that, by electing people who think that way. >> moderator: mr. kissell.
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kissell: i mentioned several times the best solutions are solutions around us. we can take these ideas to washington and try to implement them. the good ideas don't belong to either party, any place of the best ideas come from. >> moderator: as we conclude our debate, will give each opportunity unshed candidate an opportunity. since mr. kissell began with opening remarks, we'll begin with mr. hudson. hudson: thank you so much for this opportunity in the debate. thank you to the aarp. this event was a great exercise for me and i certainly enjoyed the questions for our panel spirit i appreciate the audience's participation in thank you, dr. mcgee for providing the facility here in this beautiful campus. i am a little bit in awe because i am sharing the stage that was grace by margaret thatcher and madeleine albright. i was sitting in the audience watching them up your speech here when i first got on stage, though assorted in my head. so, for a guy like me who went
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to public schools down the road and should be in the situation to stand before you, it's a pretty awe-inspiring thing. frankly it is not something i ever plan to do. but lately i've just gotten so fed up with the way things are going in washington. it's having politicians cannot say we've got to stop raiding the social security trust fund when they know good and well david butter to raid the social security trust fund. it is this worldview of washington this past, washington is going to take care of you. but these are two bureaucrats decide what health care you're have because you are not smart enough to figure it out. it is fast mentality that drives me crazy and that is why i'm running for congress because i want to change that. my position is that individual should be making decisions about their lives, but if we create incentives for people to build jobs, to create jobs, to build businesses, to go after the
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american dream, then our economy will flourish because that is what this country was founded on. i can remember the little boy riding in a car with my mother. with that in the little town east of north carolina, going past this hill, and i was just in awe of. my mother would point out the window and wish he wouldn't say was look at those greedy rich people out there. she said richard, if you stay in school and work hard and get a good job, one day you can own a house like that. that's the american dream. politicians in washington don't understand it comest again with this president. so why are fighting for that. and if you'll join me and give me the opportunity come i promise you will go to washington and fight for that every day. thank you. [applause] >> moderator: mr. kissell. kissell: thank you to the panelists. thank you for coming to wingate into aarp, thank you once again. i started out in the
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introduction telling you i wasn't wiring for congress. going to go back to that for just a second. as i talked about the issues troubling me they were leading me to think about doing something very foreign to who i was sent to what i've done in life. i would struggle and spent a lot of time thinking about this and prayed about this and are sitting in church one day and the minister was talking about jesus walking on the water. my minister looked back and said, if you want a miracle come you got to be willing to get out of the boat. now, that was my message. there is no promises about which are going to do, how successful you will have to be. but he was telling me, if these issues trouble you so much, then you've got to do something about it. that is why ran for congress. we still face immense problems of the nation. but i look back to that greatest generation that i also talk about, when they saw through the great depression and the shock of pearl harbor. these were the men and women who
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fought in north africa, landed in normandy, landed at iwo jima, fought in the seas have worked in our factories. they were not a great nation because of one great generation. it is the succession of great generation civil make america great. and we just keep on with the promises that we have a because these folks, when they say stuff, they didn't break their promises, they made america great. that is what we need to do. i appreciate the opportunity to be here today to talk about senior issues, social security, medicare, financial security. i wish everybody godspeed and god bless. >> moderator: already. [applause] now, let's give both of our candidates around of a plus. we want to thank congressman kissell and richard hudson. [applause] also want to thank our
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panelists, b. thompson. thank you for being here. dr. joseph alice and betty rising for participating on our panel. [applause] and thanks again for aarp north carolina for sponsoring the debate and wingate university for being hosts. in closing there to things they want me to mention. there are some materials on the ayer peace table about social security and medicare as well as a voter guide for this congressional race. we ask you to pick up those materials into plenty to share with their families, friends and neighbors. the young republicans and young democrats here at wingate are doing a voter registration in the lobby. to take advantage if you're not registered to vote. members of the media who would surely be at the media, there's some availability at a room next door will take place in the recital hall after this. last but not least, remember to vote tuesday, november 6. thank you for coming this afternoon.
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have a good afternoon. [applause] >> wang to tackle our nation's challenges before they tackle less. we need to save and strengthen medicare and social security and we are putting the ideas on the table on how to do that.
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we're not going to scare seniors. we are going to save for my generation so that these promises are kept. >> they have laid out clearly what they say that what barack obama and joe biden and joe biden day to save endangered medicare. they stole money from medicare and they've done it to get obamacare. you see the ads and everything they say. nothing could be further from the truth. >> next, a pentagon briefing on a recent announcement that the
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u.s. military has provided logistical and security support to an fbi investigative team visiting the site of the u.s. consulate attacks in libya. here's a portion portion of that now. >> before taking your questions, one additional update on dod support for the on going investigation of the attack on our consulate in benghazi, libya. at the request of the fbi, the department provide logistic and security support to the investigation teams in order to conduct work on site in benghazi. dod personnel created that support earlier today along with the investigation team. the activities of the investigation team and support provided by dod were fully according with the state department in the libyan government. with that, i will take your questions. >> can you tell us more about the support team quite horrific, with the marines? >> this is a u.s. military support mission. i wouldn't get into the
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specifics on the small footprint of military personnel who accompanied her fbi colleagues on this investigation mission in benghazi. i wouldn't get into the security dynamics surrounding this mission for obvious reasons. remaining to replicate it in the future and i wouldn't want to offend the wrong people. >> how long were they with their? >> i wouldn't get into the specifics, but it was a number of hours. >> within the last day. they look a short time ago. >> excuse me, it has been more than three weeks. u.s. military has been willing to consider requests at various points. it is a question best directed at the state department and fbi. i know that both the data part in an fbi had been anxious to move this process along, to the
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investigation forward and we stand ready to support them in whatever way possible. >> you say they were anxious to do it, a three-week time delay flies in the face of that. i mean, a "washington post" reporter was on the ground there yesterday and recovered sensitive documents had been left on the ground there for three weeks. there has to be some reason for the delay. >> welcome of the u.s. government has been aggressively looking into precisely what happened since september the 11th in the attack occurred on benghazi -- the consulate in benghazi. so we have not been sitting around waiting for information to come to us. we've been actively chasing a various ways. the intelligence communities and the state department, fbi, the full range of capability at this government have been used to try to determine what happened in this tragic incident. so i wouldn't read too much into time delays at this stage. the important thing is the fbi team has been working in libya
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and has been on the ground in benghazi. the specifics of the investigation produced were free to them. >> has the u.s. military provided any other support in terms of a previous steps have been taken and enough for her to find evidence of those responsible for this attack? >> our mission included this in today's focus primarily on security support. we had a fast platoon deployed to tripoli and deceit and shortly after the attack was deployed a fast platoon to yemen. we stand ready to protect americans wherever they may be threatened around the world. julian. >> when you say logistics support, does that mean transport of this? and what you do the nato announcement of french? [laughter] >> i'll be happy to talk french at any time. [laughter]
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franchise repeat the first part of your question. >> the first part was you say logistics support and i wonder if you can describe that a little bit more commas that includes transportation or while? >> without getting into the details of the security support mission, we did provide transportation to the team. i'm just not going to get beyond that in terms of precisely what the transportation wise. >> up from triple-a? >> i'm not going to get into the specifics. >> kennison was a little after his? >> i'm not getting on the specifics. >> ever want to see what happened. they are gone. why couldn't you share that information? >> look, i'm really against the federal bureau of investigation, but it is reasonable to assume that we provided transportation support in benghazi in the
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transportation happens typically one of two ways. on the ground or from the air. so let me -- i'm not going to get into specifics, but i will go so far as to say we provided some air lift support. >> why you cannot provide us with information as to how they were transported and, when everybody on the ground there, every neighbor has seen either they show banner they swooped in. i don't understand. >> if you just listen to me, nick, i did go so far as to say we provided air lift to the team. i don't really want to get into the details of the security support mission because they may have to do this again. i don't want to tip off the other side, as it were, to what we may or may not do in the future. [inaudible] >> not going to get into the specifics of the composition of the team, but the focus of the
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fast platoon has been on providing support to the embassy in tripoli. >> george, was there any attempt to recover sensitive documents at the consulate? >> security support for specifics with respect to the investigation. i would refer you to the federal bureau of investigation. >> when they came out, cannot today, they came out with the fbi team or is the fbi still in the ground? >> to my knowledge, the fbi team as last benghazi and we provided the means by which they left. >> when was the request made to send them their? was after the washington post article appeared, or would there still documents on the ground that nobody had bothered to pick up? >> i would not tie this to any particular price report. this is in something with the working closely with the state department and the fbi, all of us to go into benghazi to try to
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obtain as much information as we can, to learn as much as they can about what happened during this tragic event on september 11th. >> do you have any fbi personnel? >> i guess one of the same questions is there's so much secrecy about how you brought these people in. there's so many security concerns. do you have a greater level of concern for the security benghazi before this incident -- this attack occurred at the consulate? i mean, in other words, if it is so dangerous now, wasn't it too dangerous for the ambassador to be there in the first place? >> i'm not getting into speculation of a security was like the forehand. also known as a tragic incident occurred that killed four americans. for dedicated americans working in libya. and given that situation, we think it is only prudent to take measures to protect their personnel and the navy investigating what happened
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there. that is the bottom line. >> are based off the coast of libya? itself, what are they doing their? >> i'm not according to get into the location of rss. with respect to security in the region overall, we stand ready to support security for american military and personnel in the region. we have asset in the region to do just that. >> interest in bulk, the two detained later with the benghazi attacks. we are waiting on that? it was on the tv news in turkey. >> i never heard that report and i don't have any information on it. >> as secretary of the region, was there another group
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operating in yemen -- today have any connection srs -- other than yemen and benghazi -- [inaudible] and what role does dod play? >> well, this is really a question best rectitude the state department. as far as i know, the intelligence community and the united states government still has not reached a final conclusion on that habit in benghazi and precisely who was involved in the attack. christiana. >> you know, what is the sense of concern in this department over the cross-border attacks between turkey and syria? and as they're worried that the attacks may escalate into a larger conflict that may involve the u.s. military? >> i'll take the second part of that question first and that is that we hope this doesn't
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escalate into a broader conflict. we hope the situation d. escalates. we are outraged by the syrian government factions along the turkish border. we stand with our turkish allies. it is absolutely inappropriate, wrong and deplorable for the syrian regime to conduct this kind of activity long border, which has led to a loss of life, turkish civilians. it is time for the assad regime to step down. they continue to kill innocent civilians in syria and its time for the syrian people to be all to determine future in a country that is free of this kind of brutality. >> was admiral stavridis' response to that appropriate, proportional, or did they counter fire for too long? and did mr. panetta have any contact with her case officials?
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>> the secretary has not had any contact with turkish officials. certainly we respect the inherent right of self-defense displayed by turkey. >> i was a portion of today's pentagon briefing. you can see the entire event in our video library. and in just a couple of minutes comest defense campaign 2012 conference continues with a new jersey senate debate between democratic incumbent bob menendez and republican challenger, joe kyrillos a)i"aa! >> i have all the channels. house, senate plus author book reviews come the speeches, those kinds of things. @l.a. bill is coming up on the floor in the house, i watch camino, which channel i want to see because i have them all.
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if there is either a speech i know that you covered or a book review or someone, i am going to watch that. when i want to find out something, that has some value to a comment that's going to be one of the first places i look. i mean, i am obviously a public broadcasting fan. i watch those channels. out of a couple hundred channels i probably have five to 10 at the most that i'm going to go to. but it's going to include all the c-span channels.
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>> he was presidential. i think you just never know what positions governor romney is going to come with your gmail, the centerpiece of their economic policies so far has been the tax cut and last night we found out he doesn't have a fight for a tax cut and i guess he outsource that to china.
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it's hard to figure out what governor romney's position is on a number of issues. but i think as time goes on, meaning days, this can become pretty clear that governor romney has even changed or doesn't remember. i think at the end of the day we have two more debates coming up. i feel real good about it. >> what is your debate? >> my own debate? all debates are tough. you're up there and you're able to say -- i was watching the debate last night you can get there and say what it do not ms and you hear people say not. it's not saying that famous 320, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 million people. all debates are tough, but i'm looking forward to it. the thing about congressman ryan is he has been straightforward up till now.
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all the significant changes he wants to make. we have a fundamentally different view on a whole range of issues. so i hope it would be a good debate. >> they are going well. what i've been doing mostly because quite frankly studying up on -- on congressman ryan's position on the issues. and governor romney has been very straight, at least everything i can see. i don't want anything in the debate not completely accurate. for example, i've been saying to you all that governor romney has embraced the ryan budget. well, he has. i just want to make sure that when i say these things that i don't have the congress saying no, no, no, i don't ha

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